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The Antagonists of Athletics

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He sprints down the field after the ball only to realize that, despite his expectations, his opponents are willing to do anything for a victory – including sending him to a hospital in an ambulance. When one plays any sport, he or she will soon realize that there are many different types of opponents that will be faced over time. First of all, there are the opponents who are not extremely talented in athletics but will try to either trash- talk or physically foul their way to a victory. Next there are the opponents who are clearly superior in terms of athletic prowess, but will still attempt to gain the upper hand with similar means as the first class of opponents. Finally, there are the opponents who are athletically superior but are modest and hard working (these are difficult to come by) and will win the athletic contest in as legitimate and respectable of a manner as possible.

The Violent Approach
The first type of opponents is the type that believes that athletic competitions can be won by physically or mentally scaring one away. This can begin before an athletic competition even begins, when one coach engages the other in a conversation that may be intended to be friendly but is concluded when the coach of one team – usually the inferior one – lies about how he or she intends to play the game, how the team has done in the past, and the current condition of his or her players. This is a very common sign that the outcome of the contest can be easily predicted – the team coached by the liar generally plays in as dirty a manner as possible, mainly to upset and distract their competition. Nearly everyone has experienced an opponent like this, as it is the most common type. Some have probably even participated in this behavior, and although it is not exactly the best example of sportsmanship it can prove to be quite effective against teams with weaker mentalities. This type of opponents is generally more common in contact sports but can be found anywhere.

The Combination Type
Some opponents exhibit qualities of the violent variety but are also more athletically inclined than one’s own team, making them almost impossible to defeat. This type of opponents has more reason for the trash talk, so the pre- game discussion between the coaches tends to include less lying. However, these opponents can be the nastiest to face as their confidence is well- justified and therefore can become extremely bothersome. One can be frustrated both by the superiority of the foe and their rudeness – both verbally and physically. These opponents are less common to come across than the violent variety but are still relatively generic and are usually evenly distributed in all types of sports.

The Modest Superiors
The teams that are superior to their opponents but let their talent shine instead of playing childish mental games are the least common and also the least daunting before the competition begins. It is easy for one to enter a contest against a team of this class and be extremely confident in his or her ability to prevail, but this type of opponent will quickly disprove all expectations while showing class in defeating opponents. They are generally more respected than the violent and rude variety since their hard work and skills are memorable while other teams are remembered by their harsh words or actions.

Although other types of teams exist, they can generally be put into subcategories of these three classes, or are too eccentric and uncommon to be found in high- level competitions and tournaments. Many teams strive to be the best that they can but it is often forgotten that being savage and rude does not help anyone become a better athlete. If high expectations are set by a lying coach before the contest and they are not met, the team does not gain any respect even if they worked hard and played well.



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